A new album released by the Luther College Nordic Choir is now available for streaming. âComing Home to the Lightâ features some of the best performances of the first collegiate choral ensemble, from 2017 to 21, all conducted by Andrew Last.
âIt has been a wonderful pleasure spending time reflecting on the music of the past four years,â said Last. âDuring a year when making music was a challenge, it was an opportunity to reflect on what choral music means to me, to my students and to Luther College. The album’s title, ‘Coming Home to the Light’, is intentional. Not only is it the final lyric of the last song on the recording, but I found a special connection with the lyric because it also represents to me the return to an ensemble that has been instructive for me in my development as a choir musician, âLast said.
To create this album, Last asked Nordic Choir member Olivia Steffl ’21 to put together a senior team to select which songs would be included.
âAfter putting together a team of four, Dr. Last, Elizabeth Hand ’21, David Gorman ’21 and myself, we sat down and listened to all the recordings we had from the past four years,â Steffl said. . “As we listened, we took notes on our favorite track, the composers, the text language, the tempo, and whether a track was already on a streaming service or another album already produced.”
From there, the team narrowed it down to 21 pieces, including a variety of styles to appeal to listeners’ musical preferences and emotions.
âWe intentionally placed selections that encompass many composers, genres and time periods, all linked by a common thread – the joy and pride we feel when singing,â said Last.
âI hope listeners get a feel for what music is at Luther College. 70 to 80 voices come together to make music as one. Make music for the sake of making music. Make music to share with the world. It was really fun working on that and thinking about the other people who have sung in these ensembles over the past four years, âsaid Steffl.
The album is only available in digital format. Those who are interested can find âComing Home to the Lightâ on Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music.
Nordic Choir, founded in 1946, is Luther’s premier touring choir and enjoys national and international recognition as one of the top college choral ensembles in the United States. Acclaimed for how it honors the Lutheran choral tradition while presenting new and innovative choral works, Nordic Choir showcases its versatility, artistry and technical mastery in many musical genres.
âAs a member of Nordic Choir, I appreciated the unique characteristics that each brings to the ensemble. Being part of this group has allowed me to know so many new people who have helped me grow as a person over the past three years. Each year new members join the choir bringing a new set of skills that help everyone as a whole broaden their horizons and learn from each other, âsaid Steffl.
Luther is home to one of the largest college music programs in the country, with five choirs, three orchestras, three groups, two jazz groups and more than 800 student musicians. Luther’s students participate in large ensembles, faculty-led chamber groups, private lessons, and master classes. Almost 275 music majors study music theory, ear training, history, education, composition, jazz, church music and performance.